Ravi gained a First in computing from Imperial College and graduated in 2006. He is currently a sales analyst at Barclays Capital. Ravi undertook two internships at Barclays Capital. One in his first year, in the technology department; and he was then fortunate enough to obtain a placement on the 2005 internship programme, this time learning about the sales aspects of investment banking. After 10 weeks in that department he secured a job starting in 2006.
What was your motivation?
There were two motivations for applying: firstly, it is the best way to gain an insight into the real workings of a bank, and secondly, it was an opportunity to learn about all aspects of banking. One of the main aspects that motivated me to apply to BarCap was the exposure it gives interns to senior people in the bank.
What did the application process involve?
It has changed a bit in the two years since I applied. Back then it was a two-day process. It started off with various tests and if you did well enough in those you stayed for a second day. The day comprised activities and an interview. Now, I believe there is a telephone interview first, followed by an assessment centre. The assessment centre commences with a dinner with some of the banking staff. It means that you have more time to interact.
What did you do?
For the sales internship programme the first week was spent doing various training, such as interpersonal skills, such as presenting. Then you slowly move into the deep end learning about various financial concepts. After the first week you are given a desk, and the first thing I did was make my team aware that I wanted to be given as much relevant work as possible. My end game was to get a job offer – and you don’t get that by just making coffee. On top of the work, there were social events where I met other interns.
How did you sell the experience on your CV?
It’s a difficult question because, since the internship, I haven’t had to create a CV as such. I suppose, spending 10 weeks with one team, as opposed to being on little projects, gave me a chance to contribute substantially to the team. It gives you a much better understanding of what job the entails.
Did you enjoy it?
Thoroughly – it was a great experience and I’ve stayed in touch with a lot of people as result. I would recommend readers to apply.
What did you learn?
It’s hard to pinpoint one thing, but I think I learnt how to manage different situations. In sales you are in contact with the client constantly, so you need to understand how to manage relationships in a way that a client will enjoy working with you.
The social events and the chance for interns to meet Bob Diamond – it’s not often that someone aged 20 can spend 15 minutes with the chief executive of a bank. [Mr Diamond is now the bank’s president.]
Getting used to the early mornings for the first week – I had to travel an hour and half into work. Apart from that I really enjoyed the experience.
Advice to readers?
Apply early. Also research prospective employers in depth and read the financial news.